Reggae Girlz crash out of Olympic race
JAMAICA, WITHOUT star forwards Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw and Jody Brown, went down 2-1 to Canada in the second leg of their Olympic qualifier on Tuesday at the BMO Stadium in Toronto.
The Canadians advanced to the Olympic Games along with the United States with a 4-1 aggregate win over the Reggae Girlz after their 2-0 buffer in Kingston on Friday.
Canada started on the front foot and had a couple looks at goal but the Jamaicans kept their composure and had a header from Cameron Simmonds that just went wide.
The Reggae Girlz kept their shape well without possession and took the sting out of the game when in possession for the most part.
But the hosts continued to have the better of play going forward, although the Jamaicans kept things tight in defence, albeit with some last-ditch defending at times.
As the game grew, the Canadians got more dominant in possession but the Reggae Girlz were resolute and defended well against the dangers their opponent were able to create.
The Jamaicans then took the lead against the run of play when midfield dynamo Drew Spence wrapped a 25-yard free kick into the top corner to give the visitors hope.
Two minutes later the Canadians nearly had an equaliser when Deneisha Blackwood headed a corner against her own crossbar.
Then in the 39th minute only Rebecca Spencer’s fingertips turned a ferocious shot against the bar.
However, from the resulting corner, Cloe Lacasse headed home from close range to restore the hosts two-goal aggregate.
The Jamaicans fell further behind four minutes after the break when Jordyn Huitema headed home a cross to make the score 4-1 on aggregate.
Christine Sinclair had a great chance to add to Canada’s lead but Spencer denied her shot from seven yards.
They also had chances again through Sinclair and Simi Awujo but Spencer was in imperious form to deny the attackers.
Despite fighting a lost cause, the Reggae Girlz never gave in and kept their opponents honest.